DAVE AGAR

Friday, May 9 Commentary (CFRB's Last Day at Yonge & St.Clair)

Posted By: Dave Agar · 5/9/2014 12:00:00 AM

At least a dozen vehicles were set on fire on a quiet residential street...between Mount Pleasant and Bayview just south of the cemetery overnight.

One of the car fires jumped to a garage.  No injuries in this upscale neighbourhood.

Police have yet to indicate if anyone has been arrested...but one witness saw one person in cuffs.   CP-24's Cam Woolley told Moore in the Morning that it looks like the cars torched had all been left unlocked.  Who leaves their car unlocked in this city?

POLITICS

Cudos to CTV's Queen's Park reporter Paul Bliss for a great piece he did last evening about the Ontario election campaign. All three leaders were asked precisely about raising taxes.

So the Liberals are committed to an extra tax on income above 1-hundred-50-thousand dollars;  tolls on new HOV lanes, some higher business taxes.

Next up, NDP leader Andrea Horwath

That wasn't the question Ms Horwath.  She didn't give a straight answer to a simple question, what specific taxes would you raise if you became Premier?

And now PC leader Tim Hudak.

The next question that should be posed to the big three...precisely what programs would you cut and by how much.  My guess, Hudak will have a much tougher time answering that one.

ROB FORD

The latest on Mayor Rob Ford comes from NewsTalk 1010's Joe Warmington, his column in the Sun.   Doug Ford says the family will issue a statement today to end all speculation...to set the record straight that Rob Ford is in rehab, under supervision and he's never been out alone in public since he entered the program....despite all the rumours.

LAST DAY AT YONGE & ST. CLAIR

I trust you have heard by now that this is NewsTalk1010's last day at Yonge and St. Clair.  We're moving to the Bell Media complex, our corner at Richmond and Duncan.

We've been here since 1965.  I moved here in 1974.  It's been 40 years working on the 2nd floor at the northwest corner of Yonge and St. Clair.  15 years on the FM-side/  The rest of my time has been here at 1010.

The building itself is nothing special.  Its a typical aging, high rise commercial structure.  Too cold in the winter. Too hot in the summer.  Too dry most of the time.  So leaving this building is no big deal to me.

What's important are the memories for all those decades.  The friends made.  The enemies made.  The fun.  The laughter.  The tears and sadness.  The challenges. Success.  Failure.  All of the things which happen in workplaces across the country when coworkers share some of their private lives and their professional aspirations.  Aspirations sometimes met, sometimes not.

When I first started on the FM side we were tucked away in a corner of a very large CFRB newsroom where some of the giants of the industry were resident.  Gordon Sinclair, Jack Dennett,  Bob Hesketh, Charle's Doering.   Just down the hall, Wally Crouter, Betty Kennedy, Bill McVean, Earl Warren, Bill Deegan, George Wilson, Ray Sonin.  I was star-struck.

All too frequently Gordon SInclair would come into the newsroom like a lion, ranting about one thing or another.  No one was really sure what he was on about most of the time.  There were many happy days too.  

I remember one instance at lunch.  Some of us would go across the street to Fran's, the Lounge on the Avenue...a long, dark bar that was standing room only at lunch.  My work day was done and as I was leaving the bar, there was Gordon sitting by himself at a table for two.  He invited me to sit down. He had barely spoken to me until that time, just morning pleasantries. I nervously sat down not knowing what to expect.  There we sat, sharing Gordon's half-carafe of Rose and then another and another.   I learned that all that ranting and raving was cover for a very sensitive, thoughtful man.  He knew who I was and what I did on the FM side and he had nothing but encouragement.   That's a memory I'll never forget.

Also etched in my mind was the announcement that Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was coming into the building for an interview.  Automatically that meant an interview with Betty Kennedy, a woman of class and distinction and always pleasant in the hallways.  Trudeau's advance team was all over the building.  Security clearances,  checking for bombs.  His entourage was huge and as he moved across the walkway to Betty's office in his cream coloured suit and that red rose in his lapel, he seemed to light up the entire floor.  All eyes on Trudeau.  He was a lot shorter than I expected but the charisma was undeniable.

In more recent times, the 9-11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. had a profound affect on all of us and I was part of the team covering it from here while John Moore handled things admirably at Ground Zero.   I can't remember if it was days or weeks later but I finally hit my emotional bottom and for the first and only time in my career, I was brought to tears on the air.  It broke the tension that had been building all that time.  We all absorbed so much heartbreak and anger.

So there are a lot of memories from Yonge and St. Clair.  The warmth of Wally Crouter, the off-the-wall humour of Ted Woloshyn, the bizarre life of Pat Marsden, the always smiling Bill Stephenson, my friend Tayler Parnaby...a keener journalist you will never find.   

There are lots of stories about those guys alone most of them are not the kind of stories to be shared here. They are forever part of my memories of Yonge and St. Clair.  Now we move on to Richmond and Duncan.  In the early days, get ready for some laughs at our expense as we acclimate ourselves to our new home and new equipment.  Along the way we will build a mountain of new memories.

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  1. Mike posted on 05/13/2014 07:34 AM
    So what is to become of the building/property that is now your old location @ Yonge/St. Clair?
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